A federal lawsuit has been filed against Hyundai and Kia by consumers who bought vehicles with overstated fuel-economy labels. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages. Last Friday, the automakers admitted that they sold about 900,000 U.S. vehicles from the 2011-2013 model years with overstated mileage ratings.
The lawsuit was filed last Sunday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The complaint is seeking attorney fees and unspecified damages for U.S. consumers who bought or leased any of the eight Hyundai and five Kia nameplates mentioned in the suit. They’re asking the court to allow Ohio consumers who purchased Hyundai or Kia vehicles with inflated mileage labels to pull out of their purchase or lease agreements.
Hyundai and Kia spokesmen declined to comment, saying that the companies are still reviewing the complaint. The plaintiffs include Molly Simons, who bought a 2012 Kia Rio this past spring; and Rebecca Sanders and Jeffrey Millar, who bought a 2013 Hyundai Elantra last month. Hyundai and Kia admitted their error after the U.S. EPA released the results of its probe that discovered the discrepancies between the fuel-economy test results of the companies and its own.
On most of the affected vehicles, the ratings dropped by 1-2 mpg. The automakers said that these 900,000 vehicles make up around 35% of their combined sales of 2011-13 models through Oct. 31.
A public apology has been given by Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America for the wrongly stated mileage claims. According to officials, the companies made "procedural errors" during internal fuel-economy testing. The two companies have promised to give compensation to present and previous owners for additional fuel costs due to the flawed labels.